PLANS to build a £135 million waste-to-energy plant on Keighley’s former gasworks should be halted, say local Greens.

The environmental party has called on Bradford Council planning officers to refuse the latest plans for developing the site off the Aire Valley trunk road at Marley.

Planning permission has already been given for the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Energy Plant and preparatory work is due to start this month.

Public reaction has been mixed, with some welcoming the promised 500 jobs, but others concerned about emissions and visual impact of the complex.

Bradford Green Party said a new application for amendments to the plans – including changes to the energy plant and a smaller building – gave the council an opportunity to act.

Matt Edwards, the local Green Party spokesman, said: “Nothing about this scheme is clean or green - it is a dirty form of energy production which releases harmful chemicals in to the air."

Nationally the Green Party has criticised the Government-backed expansion of incinerators as unnecessary and for putting the profits of big businesses before the health of local residents.

It claims that as rates of recycling increase, there is a drop in non-recyclable waste that can be burnt. This often means ‘green’ incinerators actually burn waste that can be recycled.

The Green Party has instead called for investment in "real green energy" where local communities can generate and supply their own energy needs through safe and sustainable renewable energy schemes.

Cllr Hawarun Hussain, who represents the Greens on Bradford Council, said: “It doesn’t seem logical the council planning panel is being asked to give the go-ahead for an incinerator.

“It feels like going back 20 or 30 years in terms of where we as a nation have progressed to.

“Links to adverse health in our district as a result of pollution have already been identified by the Bradford Air Quality Strategy, and the Born in Bradford research project.”

Cllr Hussain said various studies had shown areas that either have incinerators or have incinerators nearby have higher rates for cancer and respiratory disorders as well as higher infant mortality rates.

She said Public Health England was so concerned that it had commissioned a wide-ranging set of studies looking into the potential impacts of UK waste incinerator emissions on human health which is scheduled to be published later this year.

Two plants for recycling waste will be built on the Airedale Road plot in Keighley, and already -processed commercial and industrial waste would be brought to the complex.